Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Eat To Live and a Life Overhaul

I have been MIA for the last few weeks, but I can explain.

The last few years have been the most stressful period of my life. In the span of a few months, I found out that I had high blood pressure, lost friends for various reasons, and had to take on a tremendous amount of responsibility at work. I didn't have time to think about much, so I worked hard, tried not to think about what was happening, and I ignored my instincts. Soon after, I started having panic attacks.

When the panic attacks started, I realized that things were out of control, so I worked on it. For a multitude of reasons, I became a vegetarian, but the most important was a desire to get healthier (Why I Became a Vegetarian). I had high blood pressure, borderline cholesterol, and was uncomfortably overweight. Becoming vegetarian helped me learn to eat more healthy and make things in my life more manageable; I was able to cut back on my blood pressure medication, my panic attacks eased, and I felt a lot better.

Unfortunately, a horrible, emotionally abusive person entered my life and knew exactly how to prey on my insecurities. Even though I understood that this was more of a reflection of this person, I took it very personally and I reverted to bad habits. I ate crazy amounts of sugar and processed foods, which left me constantly exhausted and grumpy. I gained a bunch of weight and had given up on myself. 

While on vacation at Universal Orlando (Universal Studios Orlando), I met a lady who told me about a book called Eat to Live . We discussed being vegetarian/vegan, and she suggested that I check out the book. I wrote it down and completely forgot about it for a few months.

At the beginning of July, while searching through my notes for a book recommendation, I happened across the book title. I checked it out on Amazon, and since the reviews were so intriguing, I bought it immediately. When I read the book, things clicked for me. For months, I had been toying with going vegan, but there was such a stigma with that word, it scared me a bit. However, the main premise of the book, which is that to be healthy, we have to eat nutrient packed foods (vegetables, fruits, and beans) and they will heal our bodies, made perfect sense to me. I pledged to start the six week program on July 3, the start of a nice long vacation.

I have sugar detoxed before, so I was prepared to feel pretty grouchy and the tired for the first few days. I timed it well and was able to sleep a lot and have some fun learning to cook in this healthy way (without oils!).

I was amazed at how quickly my body responded to the healthier food. Within the first few days, I was sleeping soundly, my breathing/allergies got remarkably better, and I wasn't hungry all of the time. I have always been self conscious about my skin, so when it not only cleared up, but it now seems to glow like when I get a perfect suntan. 

It has been four weeks, but I have hit a snag... 

I can pinpoint the time period when my weight and health issues began. I went through a horrible break up, was having a lot of trouble at work, and was extremely emotional all of the time. A couple of well-meaning friends counseled me, suggesting that I needed to toughen up a big and be less emotional. They explained that as I got older, I would grow out of those emotions. It made me mad at the time, but I listened and tried my best to keep from being emotional about everything. Unfortunately, instead of dealing with my emotions, I avoided and tried to ignore things... and I ate. So, while this detox and healthy eating have freed me in so many ways, it is also forcing me to face the emotional part of me. I'm having to deal with a lot of things that I tried hard to hide and reminding myself that feeling my emotions is a good thing. 

So aside from being a little extra emo about everything, things are going well. I feel a lot happier and am surprised to find this way of eating is even easier than just eating vegetarian. I've lost 9.5 pounds, I'm quickly weaning off of my blood pressure medication, and I haven't had a panic attack since I started. Plus, it all just feels right to me. Overall, pretty amazing results.


henrikoly said...

So happy to hear, how well you're doing! I found Dr. Fuhrman's website and immediately bought the book, my husband and I are now finishing day 6 of the Six-Week-plan. The first days we used a lot of time in the kitchen ... now we have found ways to make our salads faster :) I'm looking forward to following you here.

Annie Wood said...

Hi Oly - Thanks for taking the time to comment. Good luck with the plan. Just about every day I feel better than the last, and I'm now 5 weeks in. On Sundays, I put together most of my food for the week... it helps tremendously during the week.